In a Perfect World

In a Perfect World

3.9 (1,033 ratings by Goodreads)
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From critically acclaimed author Trish Doller comes a "tender story that's both realistic and hopeful" (Publishers Weekly), set in Cairo, Egypt, about the barriers we tear down for the people and places we love most. Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she'll be her team's captain in the fall. But when Caroline's mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline's plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she's ever known. With this move, Caroline predicts she'll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But what she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 140 x 211 x 30mm | 386g
  • English
  • 1481479881
  • 9781481479882
  • 784,840

Review quote

The summer before her senior year in high school, Caroline's family moves from Sandusky, Ohio, to Cairo, Egypt, where her mom will run an eye clinic for the poor. It takes Caroline time to adjust to the new rules and culture (long pants and tunics rather than cutoffs and tanks; a driver to take her everywhere) and the language, but as she makes friends, she falls in love with both the city and a boy. Just as Caroline is finding her place in her new world, her mom's clinic is bombed and Caroline's time in Cairo, as well as the story, comes to an end shortly after. Doller paints a vivid picture of an expat-teen's life in Cairo: part fascination, part fear, and a little bit of guilt. With detailed descriptions of popular and less familiar tourist spots; mouthwatering descriptions of Koshary, ful, Gebna makleyah, and other foods; and a bit of Egyptian Arabic, this is the perfect tour guide disguised as a YA novel. The straight forward story--a teen falls in love with a new city and a boy--belies the important lessons learned in this story. The theme of the novel is not subtle: Egyptians are different from Americans, but they are also similar; people who are different are also similar. Caroline blushes when she catches herself making assumptions: why would she think that Egyptians would not enjoy reggae, heavy metal, and Harry Potter? The reader learns, through identifying with Egyptian culture and people and with Caroline's expanding perspectives, to examine their own filters through which they see "others." This book is a quick read which will inspire discussions, travel, and perhaps a bit of empathic understanding about people who are different from the reader.--Beth Karpas.--VOYA "April 2017 "
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Rating details

1,033 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 31% (317)
4 40% (410)
3 22% (224)
2 6% (60)
1 2% (22)
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